Sam Young went out in style.
In his final game at Petersen Events Center, the 6-foot-6 senior forward had 31 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 3 Pitt to a 70-60 victory over top-ranked Connecticut Saturday afternoon before a standing-room-only crowd.
It marked the first time Pitt (28-3, 15-3) has defeated a No. 1 team on its home floor, and the Panthers became only the seventh team to defeat the nation’s top-ranked team twice in a season by handing the Huskies their second loss in three weeks.
Pitt also beat Connecticut, 76-68, Feb. 16 in Hartford.
With the victory, Pitt clinches at least the second seed in the Big East Tournament. The Panthers can earn the top seed if West Virginia defeats Louisville tonight.
Young made 13 of 23 shots from the field, including three 3-pointers, and 2 of 2 on free throws. Pitt also got 13 points from Brad Wanamaker and 10 from senior point guard Levance Fields.
It was a season-low point total for Connecticut (27-3, 15-2), which was led by A.J. Price’s 19 points. Hasheem Thabeet had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Huskies, but was scoreless in the second half. Jeff Adrien added 11 and Kemba Walker 10.
Pitt held a 38-28 halftime lead, despite center DeJuan Blair (eight points, eight rebounds) sitting out the final 6:04 after picking up two personal fouls in a span of 27 seconds.
The Panthers held a double-digit lead much of the game, but watched their 52-38 edge slip away when Price scored eight consecutive points amid a 12-0 run by the Huskies. UConn cut it to 52-50 on Stanley Robinson’s dunk with 8:26 remaining.
The Panthers answered with a 7-0 run sparked by Sam Young’s three-point play, and never looked back in what will go down as the biggest home win in school history.